Abda Abdulaziz, 26, arrived at the Bambasi camp in 2011 seeking refuge from the war in Sudan. Her 5 children were born in this camp and are being raised here, while her husband works as a laborer at a nearby farm - they see each other every two weeks for a few days. She said that if the violence in her country settles, she and her husband may consider going back, but she is not very hopeful that will happen. In the meantime, life in the camp allows her children to have access to an education. I met two of her daughters, Zulfa Ata Ey, 8, and Muzalefa, 10, at the primary school I had visited earlier in the day. Zulfa is at the top of her class and her mom is so proud. While they’re safe and her children are receiving an education, they are still living below the poverty line, and she’s desperate for the most basic supplies...like water, books, and clothes for her children. To donate and learn more about @Unicef’s efforts, visit UNICEF. Link in bio. (PS, the last video...Zulfa playing with my phone.)
This is Hasina (15), she is a 7th grade student who loves to go to school. She used to live with her sister and her husband, and without her knowing, her sisters’ husband was arranging her marriage to one of his friends...she was 12 at the time. One day when the man visited her house to pester her parents to marry her, she escaped to a friends house and the next day went to one of the community-based child’s marriage prevention platforms (alone), which she had heard about at school. She asked herself, if She married now, would she ever go back to school again? Hasina loves learning and wasn’t willing to trade her education or freedom for anything.That gave her the courage to stand up for herself. The community, along with the authorities, stepped in and stopped the marriage. The man was charged. It’s important to understand that it takes an immense amount of courage to go against these cultural “norms” that have existed for centuries. Hasina is a very brave girl. It was so heartening to see the elders in the community learning from the examples these young girls are setting, standing up against child marriage and female genital mutilation/cutting. Education gave these girls that perspective. This community is an example of how change is possible. FEMALE RIGHTS ARE HUMAN RIGHTS. To make a difference and learn more about @Unicef’s efforts, visit UNICEF. Link in bio.
At the Bambasi Refugee Camp Primary School there is a shortage of trained teachers, with one teacher for every 89 students. This second grade class is taught by Hubahiro, she is a refugee child who is an 8th grade student at the school...she teaches grades 1-4 in the morning, and in the afternoon attends school to continue her education. Like her mother, who is also a refugee and teacher at the school, she earns a small stipend. When I first met the kids they were extremely introverted and timid. It took a lot of tickles and cuddles to get them to interact with me. Thank you Hubahiro for translating and helping the kids understand that I was a friend. @unicef@unicefethiopia#childrenuprooted
Dance is such an important part of Ethiopian culture. Wherever I have been so far...even though we don’t speak each other’s languages...the joy that has been shared through dance has bonded me with this amazing country forever. (Even though I’m terrible at it🤦🏽♀️😂) Ethiopia is extremely rich in culture and compassion. 🇪🇹 🙏🏽❤️ @unicefethiopia#yodabyssinia
This afternoon I had the honor of meeting Madam President Sahle-Work Zewde, the first female president of Ethiopia. Her fierce commitment to the empowerment and advancement of women is unprecedented. She also has a global perspective for the development of her country - Ethiopia is the second largest host country of refugees in Africa, they’ve taken in just under 1M. She’s pushing for policies that provide people with access to education and other essential needs so they can improve their familial economic situation and hence the economy of Ethiopia. I’m so inspired. @unicef@unicefethiopia#achildisachild#foreverychild
Day 1: Dagmawit and her friends are leading members of the Gender Club, a @unicef supported program that empowers girls and boys. The Gender Clubs deliver relevant knowledge and skills to help the students combat harmful social practices, like gender based violence, child marriage, and sexual violence. It’s was amazing to see these brave girls take on and tackle such difficult issues and create an environment where they can teach their own peers. I’m inspired. @unicefethiopia#achildisachild#foreverychild
Day 1: My first visit was to the Sibiste Negasi Primary School in Addis Ababa. In Ethiopia, primary school enrollment between 2000 and 2017 has TRIPLED. This is because of the Ethiopian government’s investment in education and its dedication to the future of the country...but there is still so much work to do. 2.6 M children of primary and secondary school age are out of school, and 50% of children attending school drop out by grade 8. Because of poverty children are responsible for much more than just learning, like caring for siblings, walking miles to collect water and other house hold chores...things that should not be a child’s responsibility at any age. A child is a child. @unicef’s efforts, along with a very committed government, are focused on getting every child in school, ensuring every child has a quality education, and that every child completes school. Thank you Principal Abebech, Dagmawit (7th grade), and all the other students who made my first day in ethopia so special. Go to my stories to follow this trip. @unicefethiopia#achildisachild#foreverychild